Friday, June 25, 2010

What a relief it is ...

…when the border you stitch on a sampler meets at the end!! I’m sure you know that feeling, and perhaps you also know the frustration when the border doesn’t meet. Yikes!

The other day I finished stitching the vine border on the Deborah Walker sampler! What a relief it was when the vine met perfectly!! The border with some of its little irregularities was a bit challenging at times--if I wasn’t very careful, I easily made a mistake which led to “reverse stitching”. I haven’t stitched all of the strawberries on the vine--I may save them until last. It might be nice to do them at one of my guild stitch-ins.

I still have a fair amount of over-one stitching to do. The chart has enlargements of these areas, but the enlargements really aren’t much bigger than what is on the main chart. Plus, I’ve discovered that the charting on the enlargements doesn’t match what is on the main chart. I’ve decided to follow the main chart.

Several people have asked me about this chart. It was produced by Just CrossStitch and is now out of print.

Deborah’s sister, Rebecca, too stitched a sampler which was reproduced by The Essamplaire. Click here to see it. Another sister, Mary, also stitched a sampler. I don’t know if Mary’s sampler has been reproduced. All three of the original samplers are in the collection of the Chester County (Pennsylvania) Historical Society.

If you look at Deborah’s and Rebecca’s samplers, you can’t help but notice the similarities. You’d probably also noticed the many Quaker motifs. Although neither girl tells us when she stitched her sampler, they both tell us they are the daughters of Isaac and Deborah (Dickinson) Walker. Deborah’s sampler also gives us her grandparents’ initials. Isn’t it wonderful having that information?

With a short internet search, I was able to find a little more about the Walker family. Isaac was born in 1779. He married Deborah Dickinson on September 14, 1803. Both were Quaker. They lived in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and had ten children. Isaac built a school on his property, and for part of the year he taught not only his children but also others.

Their daughter, Deborah Walker, the maker of the sampler I’m stitching, was born in 1820. She married Henry Pownall, and together they had five children. Deborah died in 1890. She and Henry are buried at the Sadsbury Friends Meeting Cemetery as are Deborah's parents.

I’ll probably put Deborah aside for a bit to work on a new sampler I’ve designed. I’m using the Gentle Art’s Simply Wool threads for the first time, and I really like the way they look. Isn’t it wonderful to have so many different threads readily available?


Cari said...

Beautiful work Ellen. You may be able to enlarge the tiny stitching area on your printer or take to Staples or Office Depot. They can enlarge it too for a very reasonable price. Anywho...once again...your work is lovely.

Margaret said...

Your sampler is gorgeous! And yes, I definitely know that feeling of relief when the border meets up! lol! I'm looking forward to seeing your new design. It must be on a larger count with the Simply Wool? I'm anxious to try those fibers!

Anonymous said...

Oooh, those borders...When I was finishing up the one on Sarah Woodham, it looked like I was off by two, and I started to hyperventilate! It turned out that I was right on, but it was scary there for a minute!
Deborah is lovely. I just adore reproductions. :)

Sherry said...

If you need the enlargment, blow it up on the copier (or at the office supply stores). I do that often - especially when it's a bigger pattern so I don't put creases in where I need it to be readable. And thank goodness the border met - I am always trying to count ahead and use my needle along the threads when I get close to double, triple check myself.

Jacqueline Korteland Boller said...

What a lovely sampler! I love samplers and their history.

Witch of Stitches said...

Beautiful sampler and yes, there are quite a few of us who go through this needle-biting as we stitch a border, LOL!

Athena's Needle said...

LOL I'm glad somebody else also has these moments - when you sort of mentally hold your breath and hope it meets like you think it should. Its also an interesting twist on the test of the sampler about calmly meeting your end. Well done - lovely piece.